7 Ways to Headhunt on LinkedIn

There’s no doubt LinkedIn is an effective tool for headhunting. Having over 400 million professionals as of the 3rd quarter of 2016, it serves as a headhunting platform where senior-level professionals and recruitment firms can meet. Then again, a recruitment effort can only lead to success with a well-thought-out strategy.

Here are the best ways to use LinkedIn for effective headhunting:

1. Advanced and Straightforward Keyword Search

As a headhunter, you want to include people with specific skills in your potential candidates list. LinkedIn makes this job easier with Advanced Search.

This tool allows you to look for professionals based on straightforward keywords, precise locations, and your target job titles. A detailed criteria can result in a narrower search, which means higher chances of finding prospective, eligible professionals.

To use Advanced Search, hover your mouse pointer to the topmost part of your LinkedIn homepage and click the “Advanced” button. It will redirect you to a detailed search area where you can have accurate results

Remember, these talents may be employed or actively looking for a job. So, be careful when contacting them. Send them a private message to ask if they’re open for a new job opportunity.

Advanced Search on LinkedIn

2. Source for Similar Professionals

It’s always a good idea to have more talent options so you can compare candidates. Remember, the best choices may come at a later time.

So, after finding potential candidates using Advanced Search, look for similar professionals with the “People similar to” tool. This lets you find experts with the same titles, roles, and competencies. It’s a convenient way to look for managers and executives with the same functions and responsibilities.

To see people with similar professional characteristics, search for a specific person with your desired job title. Once you have the search results, click the “Similar” button below the name of the person you searched for. The search will list down people with similar background and job titles. You now have more candidates to contact!

3. Look Over 2nd Degree Connections

You surely have a lot of connections on LinkedIn. So, why not use this network to meet new talents?

Scan the 2nd degree connections of the executives, managers, or experts in your connections. It does not only save time and effort, but it also assures you that these people are inclined to the field you are targeting since they’re connected to a specific professional. Plus, you can directly ask your connections if these people are qualified for the post.

To look for 2nd degree connections, type the name of the industry expert you are connected with in the search bar. Then, check the box with a text “2nd connection” on the left side of your screen. It will automatically load 2nd degree connections from the person you searched.

4. Post Job Openings, Status, and Updates

Sharing a job opening on LinkedIn is the easiest way to attract potential candidates. This makes your connections and target market aware of the post. It can be an effective headhunting strategy when used correctly. Make sure you put the required titles, years of experience, skills, and other competencies essential to the post.

LinkedIn made it easier for headhunters and recruitment agencies to post a job. Click the “Jobs” button in the navigation bar. Once you are redirected to the Jobs home page, click the “Post a job” button. You can now fill out the necessary information needed for the post.

5. Join Industry and Skills-Based Groups

A better way to know the skilled professionals in your target field is to get involved in their discussions. Join industry and skills-based professional groups on LinkedIn and carefully observe their conversations. In this way, you’ll know their interests and how to get their attention as a headhunter.

Gradually reach out to them by sharing your insights and opinions. Find a common denominator that will allow you to make a strong foundation for informative and collaborative discussions.

Find groups by typing in your keywords in the search bar. Ask to join, and wait for the group administrator to accept your request.

Join Industry and Skills-Based Groups on LinkedIn

6. Follow Thought Leaders and Key Influencers

A headhunter like you should know who the influential people in a specific field are. This allows you to see a large base of contacts who are interested in these thought leaders and specific fields.

Connect with them on LinkedIn and do your part by posting relevant articles, studies, and insights that can get their interest.

7. Monitor Potential Candidates’ LinkedIn Behavior

After listing down the names of your potential hires, always check their LinkedIn activity and behavior. Executives and experts on LinkedIn often post valuable insights that call for discussion. Take it as a chance to know their skills and what they do professionally.

Your prospects’ behavior can also help you determine if they’re looking for a job. Observe the signals like profile update, liking job posts, or viewing company profiles.

LinkedIn has grown from a simple networking site for professionals to an effective tool for recruiters and headhunters from recruitment firms. Using it to find the valuable candidates for your available post is a great strategy. Now, show your headhunting skills on LinkedIn!


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Ron Cullimore